Fargo Adds Ted Danson, Jean Smart and Patrick Wilson for Season 2

Fargo‘s Emmy cred just got even deeper.

The FX crime drama, which scored 18 nominations and three wins last year (including Outstanding Miniseries) is adding multiple Emmy winners Ted Danson and Jean Smart, plus Golden Globe nominee Patrick Wilson, to its Season 2 cast, the network announced today.

Season 2, set in 1979, will serve as a prequel, with Wilson taking on the role of Lou Solverson, who was played by Keith Carradine in Season 1. Wilson’s Lou is described as “a clean cut Minnesota State Patrolman, four years back from Vietnam, where he served in the Navy. A humble and competent man, Lou is a devoted husband to his wife and father to four-year-old Molly” (aka the girl who’ll grow up to be Allison Tolman’s Season 1 breakout character).

Danson will play Hank Larsson, “the Sheriff of Rock County, Minnesota. An unflappable WWII vet who embodies a certain cowboy poetry, Hank is Lou’s father-in-law.”

Smart has been cast as Floyd Gerhardt, “the matriarch of the Gerhardt crime family. She’s stood by her husband’s side for 40 years, but now that he’s out of the picture, she thinks it’s her turn to run things.”

Fargo Season 2 begins production on Jan. 19, at which point Danson will have wrapped filming CSI’s truncated, 18-episode season.

Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons were cast last month in the roles of Peggy Blomquist, “a small town beautician with big city dreams” and her husband Ed, “a butcher’s assistant who wants to be supportive of his wife’s self-discovery, even if he doesn’t quite understand it.”

Nick Offerman, Brad Garrett, Kieran Culkin, Bokeem Woodbine, Jeffrey Donovan and Angus Sampson will also recur in Season 2.

The expanded logline for Season 2 is as follows: The all new “true crime” case of Fargo’s new chapter travels back to 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota, where a young State Police Officer Lou Solverson (Wilson), recently back from Vietnam, investigates a case involving a local crime gang and a major Mob syndicate. Helping him piece things together is his father-in-law, Sheriff Hank Larsson (Danson). The investigation will lead them to a colorful cast of characters that includes Karl Weathers (Offerman), the town lawyer of Luverne. A Korean War vet, Karl is a flowery drunk blessed with the gift of gab and the eloquence of a true con artist. Three-time Emmy winner Garrett will play Joe Bulo, the front man for the northern expansion of a Kansas City crime syndicate. The new face of corporate crime, Joe’s bringing a Walmart mentality to small town America. His number two is Mike Milligan (Woodbine). Part enforcer, part detective, Mike is always smiling – but the joke is usually on you. Bulo and his crew have their sights set on the Gerhardt crime family in Fargo, currently led by matriarch Floyd Gerhardt (Smart). With her husband at death’s door, Floyd takes over the family business, frustrating her eldest son, Dodd Gerhardt (Donovan). An impatient hothead with a cruel streak to match his ambitions, Dodd can’t wait for both his parents to die so he can take over and expand their business from kingdom to empire. Bear Gerhardt (Sampson) is the middle son, an intimidatingly large man who, although inarticulate, is the most decent of his clan. Rye Gerhardt (Culkin), the youngest of the Gerhardt clan, views himself as a big shot, but in reality he’s just a small dog who barks big.

The new batch of episodes will be influenced by the Cohen brothers’ Fargo, Miller’s Crossing and The Man Who Wasn’t There, executive producer Noah Hawley revealed at the show’s TCA panel in July.

Fargo is slated to return to the FX lineup in the fall.

Excited about Danson, Smart and Wilson heading to Fargo? Sound off below!

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41 Comments
  1. What does Danson’s role mean for CSI?

  2. Joey says:

    Love love love Jean Smart. She’ll do great, I’m sure.

  3. Maddie B. says:

    Any word on who will replace Danson on CSI?

  4. cdhaskell says:

    I can’t wait to see what happened in the second season of Fargo. Good luck in 2015.

  5. Kay says:

    I knew there were rumors that CSI was over but this backhanded confirmation is the worst. We have watched every episode since the first. It’s like having kids leaving home. Pain of loss mixed bitterly with sweet memories.

  6. Maya says:

    I love the new additions. Thrilled to see Jeffrey Donovan is going to have a role in s2 too. I’ve missed having him on my tv.

  7. Jenna says:

    This cast is amazing. I can’t wait!!

  8. Eliza says:

    Patrick Wilson!! ♡
    I’m totally behind this casting :)

  9. worthymagic says:

    Until CBS announces that CSI is finished, nobody needs to go overboard yet. It makes sense for Ted Danson to do this, especially if He is only getting paid for the episodes they make(and CSI is cutting its season short). If CSI comes back, they will definitely need to add another NAME character, not a secondary character(because George Eads is leaving). Lots of people from the other CSI shows are looking for work. The longer CSI goes without talking of replacing George, the more likely the show will be cancelled.

  10. Mary says:

    Gussy Sampson…..,Nice crackle!!! I love Angus Sampson

  11. Mary S says:

    Wait a minute here!! If Ted is in Fargo, how can he be in Las Vegas working for the police as a CSI??? They haven’t cancelled that on us have they??????? Noooooooo!!! The announcement has already been made that Nick is leaving the team, but it didn’t say the team is being disbanded entirely… I know I’ve missed some TVLine emails, but how could have missed that one?
    WHAT’S GOING ON HERE???????

    • Fran says:

      Read above, your questions are answered :)

      • Mary S says:

        Thank you. I saw and responded to the email before finding all the other information on this page…AND, CSI is still not on the “RENEWED” list…it’s still being shown as “could go either way”…I will be sooooo upset if they take this from me! I have been a fan since the first episode. I thought it would die when Grissom left, but, gee, it didn’t! It was different, but still excellent, then there was another change of cast, and another, then Ted came on board and there have been other changes, and I still love it! They took Miami and NYC from us, at least leave Las Vegas alone! I love this show!!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      See: Paragraph 6.

      • Mary S says:

        is this what you are calling paragraph 6? “Fargo Season 2 begins production on Jan. 19, at which point Danson will have wrapped filming CSI’s truncated, 18-episode season.”
        I saw that a while ago, but it still doesn’t tell me if CSI has been renewed. What else am I missing? I have about 100 emails from this site that I haven’t read yet, so it is possible that my questions has been answered…but according to your list, CSI could go either way, which would distress me GREATLY. There are not that many shows I really look forward to seeing, but CSI is one of them. They have already stolen Miami and NYC from me and I am not ready to lose Las Vegas!
        Matt, do you have any hint of good news for me? Please??

      • herman1959 says:

        Wow, Matt, you seem to have started something.

  12. Salie says:

    No Alison Tolman?! No Fargo…. She will really be missed.

  13. kirads09 says:

    I just don’t know about S2 of Fargo. It will be fine, but unless they find a way to resurrect Malvo, not sure it will hold my interest personally. They could bring him back – with all the speculation and hinting that perhaps he was the Devil himself or a Demon. Billy Bob rocked my world S1 and that character is needed to make the show work for me.

  14. marika says:

    Now fully aware of the unnecessary demise of CSI, I am delighted to see Ted Danson again, he plays any role superbly. Jean Smart, as well, I haven’t seen her since The District with another greatly missed actor, is a delight to see in any role. I hope you will take full advantage of these actors’ talents and abilities, the more you show them, the more we’ll watch!

  15. Mary S says:

    THIS is the way I learn of the death of CSI??? We knew that Nick had been hired by San Diego, but that doesn’t mean the show has to end!!!! Have they hired someone to replace Danson? Are they bringing Grissom back? Now, THAT would be a gift!!

    C’mon, networks, you are cancelling all of my favorite shows!!! I made a list tonight of shows I’ve lost in the last year or so (in no particular order): Burn Notice (maybe a little outside the window), Intelligence, Covert Affairs and Perception were dropped with things still hanging. Surviving Jack and Growing Up Fisher didn’t even get their full seasons aired! Losing Stabler from SVU changed the show completely, so, even though it’s there and decent, it’s not the show I watched faithfully for years.
    I will admit that Warehouse 13, White Collar and Glee (all had fitting and moving finales, perfect for those of us who were with it from the beginning).
    We don’t have to lose Longmire, all we have to get is Netflix. Unforgettable was picked up by that stellar example of cliffhanger cancellations, A&E, which cancelled The Glades with the lead character missing his wedding because he had been SHOT 3 times, but we don’t know by whom or if the shots killed him or if he would be found in time…
    And there are many others from years past that I still miss. Do you know that the Never Been Clever network has never made DVDs of Harry’s Law available for us to buy?? And will not even address the question when I ask it??

    • Jennifer says:

      @Mary S – Was Unforgettable officially picked u at A&E? I thought it was still being “considered”? And I don’t think CSI has been cancelled – yet. Last legs, on the bubble, yes. The filming schedules are different. I think at least.

      • Mary S says:

        @Jennifer- Yes, I have seen reports that A&E has indeed picked up Unforgettable…And, as much as I hate to admit it, I wrote that about CSI as a knee-jerk reaction to Danson being on another show; then I saw that the other show (which I do not watch) will be filming during the CSI hiatus. It does make sense…actors only get paid when they are working, so some of them like to keep on working!
        I am still angry over losing Perception, It annoys the heck out of me that “they” renew shows with no heart or unique qualities, but drop this delightful, interesting, intelligent show that has a “twist” to keep it above the standard mystery/detective shows. I have come to the conclusion that network execs really don’t give a flip about providing quality shows, they want whatever is cheapest to make, believing that viewers will watch them because they are either A) too dumb to know the difference or B) too lazy to find something better.

  16. Nancy Rinaldi says:

    Jean Smart is destined to win an Emmy for her portrayal of Floyd Gearhardt. She’s brilliant in it!
    Mesmerizing!

  17. Mary S says:

    Since I really like Ted Danson and have no interest in Fargo, I am thrilled that he joined CSI:Cyber (which I thoroughly enjoy) instead of moving to some town I will NEVER visit!